Color & Control:

Global Health Watch

Switzerland: Université de Fribourg

Breast Cancer Cells Can Travel to Brain

Cancer cells can travel. They typically move through circulatory systems. Referred to as metastatic cancers, they are more aggressive and harder to fight than the primary tumour. Now, scientists have found that brain metastasis is becoming increasingly common in patients with advanced breast cancer. This study points out the importance of developing effective therapies to prevent and treat brain metastases and shows promise with FAK (focal adhesion kinase) inhibitors as a potential treatment. Further study is needed. 

Israel: University of Tel Aviv

Time For Women-Centred Gynecology

Despite the fact that it’s all about women’s bodies, the gynecological field of study has been dominated by male scientists and researchers for more than a thousand years. A recent analysis done in Israel showed that most published research centres  around reproduction and childbirth fails to consider the patient’s overall health and well-being. In fact, only 4 per cent of journals report on the health of women before or after their childbearing age, including findings and articles about menopause.

China: Shanghai Sixth People’s Hospital

Urine tests could detect early-stage Alzheimer’s

At the moment, the current diagnostic methods for Alzheimer’s are too expensive and inconvenient. This Chinese study is the first to identify formic acid as a potential urinary biomarker that can detect early-stage Alzheimer’s. This scientific breakthrough could provide inexpensive and non-invasive screening for early detection, the ideal time for intervention and treatment.

USA: University of California 

A New Kind of Chemo

Chemotherapy is difficult. The treatments come with awful side effects and the drugs involved are toxic to the patient as well as to their cancer cells. Consequently, scientists and doctors are constantly searching for more effective therapies. The good news is that a team of researchers at UC Santa Barbara have recently identified two compounds that are more effective and less toxic to human cells. This discovery has led to an entirely new way of regulating this enzyme towards leukemia therapies.

Poland: Adam Mickiewicz University 

New Cancer Drug From Potatoes and Tomatoes

Cancer treatments can be tough on patients due to severe side effects so, Polish researchers are looking to review bioactive compounds called glycoalkaloids, found in vegetables (tomatoes and potatoes) as a possible source of treatment, with the correct dose they hope to turn poison into a medicine. Still in the early stages of testing, the efficacy of glycoalkaloids needs further study.

Finland: University of Eastern Finland

Artery Thickening May be Stopped by Early Screening

Atherosclerosis happens when cholesterol plaques are deposited within blood vessels. In a collaborative study researchers found that children and adolescents with inherited lipid disorders do well with early treatments. The study involved 1779 adolescents, 15 years and older and followed until 24 years of age. Intervention at age 24 was deemed too late to stop worsening atherosclerosis whereas treatment at age 17 was shown to be ideal.

United Kingdom: University of Birmingham 

Improving Memory With Laser Therapy

Non-invasive laser therapy has been shown to be successful in improving short term or working memory by 25 per cent. The treatment, also called transcranial photobiomodulation (tPBM) is applied to the right prefrontal cortex with working memory improving directly after treatment. These treatments can also help improve reaction times, accuracy, attention, emotions, and can also benefit people with attention-related disorders. The tPBM therapy is safe and simple with no side-effects.

Sweden: Karolinska Institutet

Prevention of Transmission of HIV From Mother to Child

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet have now found that antiviral drugs almost entirely reduce the risk of mothers passing on HIV infections to their babies. More than 13,000 HIV-positive pregnant women were studied in several health centres in Africa. Through careful observation, over a year after giving birth, only 159 children had been infected by the age of 1.5 years. Early implementation of antivirals played a key-role in the prevention
of transmission.

Related Articles

Recent Articles

Complimentary Issue

If you would like to receive a free digital copy of this magazine enter your email.